The Memoriam Society

»Deported to their Deaths« – panel 32 – Culture of Remembrance

The Memoriam Society was founded in June 1991 with the goal to create a memorial in Hannover that commemorates the city’s Jewish men and women who were persecuted, deported, and murdered during the National Socialist reign of terror. The members of this non-partisan and non-denominational society were not institutions but individuals. Their goal was to finance the memorial through civic engagement with exclusively private donations. The first chair of the society was Lea Rosh, the director of the NDR Landesfunkhaus (state broadcast station) at the time.

In the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the deportation of Hannover Jews to Riga, the society introduced its plans to the public. The mayor Herbert Schmalsteig took on the patronage for the project and secured the support of the municipal government. The organizers felt that a central location should be chosen for the memorial. The artistic design of the monument was decided by competition; the head of the selection jury was the director of the Sprengel Museum, Dieter Ronte. A newly established volunteer organization, chaired by Ernst Pieper (chairman of the Preussag AG), secured financing for the memorial through donations from the Hannover business community and citizens.

The plans of the Memoriam Society spurred heated public debate. In particular, the proposed central location was the target of criticism.

Picture credits

1. Neue Presse Hannover
2. Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung


Exhibition: Deported to their Deaths
Duration: December 15th, 2011 to January 27th, 2012
Location: Neues Rathaus Hannover, Bürgersaal
Panel: 32 from 39 – Culture of Remembrance
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond